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Opioid Crisis: Research Help

This guide introduces you to recommended sources on the Opioid Crisis in America.

Subjects Terms



Opioid abuse

Opioid epidemic

Opioid crisis

Opioid addiction

Drug abuse

Drug Addiction

Drug Control --United States

Drug Dependence

Drug Enforcement

Pain medicine

Pain management

Prescription drug abuse

Substance abuse


Search Strategies

To find books and ebooks search the library's online catalog WorldCat. 

First, try a simple keyword search such as Drug Abuse. Keyword searches produce a large amount of results. This type of search is broad and less precise. Fortunately, most online catalogs and databases have features to help you refine your search terms. Refinement features may include author, year, format, content, audience, or sub-topics.

Creating a search strategy:

Next, try Boolean searching. This type of searching allows you to combine keywords using operators AND, OR, and NOT.

To narrow your results use AND with two or more concepts. Example: Type Drug Abuse AND Mental Illness

To broaden your search use OR with synonymous or related words.One or both of the search terms will be searched and retrieved. Example:  Drug Abuse OR Substance Abuse

Sometimes one of your search terms may produce a list of results that includes articles that are not relevant to your topic. Using the operator NOT eliminates words from your search and reduces the number of results. Example:  Drug Abuse NOT Drug Addiction. The words Drug Addiction will be excluded from the search. 

Other Search Techniques:

Another way to broaden your search is to use the Truncation technique. Depending on the database the symbol may be the (*), (?), (%) or ($). This type of search allows you to replace the end of a word with a symbol. Example: adolescen* retrieves adolescence, adolescent, adolescents

Another technique is using Wildcard symbols such as (*), (#), (!), (or (?). This technique substitutes a symbol for a letter in a word and searches for variant spellings. Each database is different and you'll need to check with the database search tips to identify which symbol to use. 

Example: wom*n retrieves woman and women